Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Family Guy: My Secret Shame

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 Time for another edition of my secret shame.  Yes, I admit to watching The Family Guy.  I have even posted on the horrors of this show, and yet at least once a week I find myself tuning in.  As I sit there and watch the parade of homophobia, sexism, racism, abelism, (damn it every single ism) I always say this is just terrible, yet I am still watching. I have yet to figure out what is drawing me to this nonsense. 

I openly admit that almost everything about the Family Guy is plain wrong. It does not send out a positive message and reflects some of the worst aspects of our society.  I really have no excuse because I plain and simple know better.

Ok tag you're it. What are you watching that you know damn well you should not be.

26 comments:

Kim said...

Project Runway. I hate the way they care so much about clothes, how the designers say things like "I want to change the way people dress" as though that is soooo important. I also hate it because they rarely do challenges for larger or older women.

But I like seeing people challenged and seeing what they come up with. The first challenge of this season was interesting because one person thought to make a dress out of plastic cups by using an iron to melt the cups onto his dress form.

Kim said...

And I share your Family Guy shame too. I was watching the Star Wars episode, Blue Harvest (for the third time), with my mom and brother. When Obi-wan was about to separate from Luke/Chris, saying something about not liking him as much when he gets older, my brother explained to my mom that he was a pedophile. And it hit me, pedophilia is not funny. This pedophile comes off as slightly creepy but pretty likable. And they have him playing Obi-Wan!!

Peridot said...

I don't have a TV but I'm not immune to nonsense. I'm subscribed to a couple gossip blogs devoted to Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. I'm fascinated by Tom's whacky Scientology and rumors that Katie is becoming a cult robot. Dumb, I know, but I can't get enough!

whatsername said...

America's Next Top Model. :(

WitchWords said...

I'm on the Family Guy thing, too. Love it irrationally, although I keep laughing and then going, dammit, that's BAD to be laughing at.

Other than that, my big guilty pleasure is What Not To Wear - the whole premise of which is, you are a Bad Woman if you don't have an innate fashion sense and spend exorbitant amounts on your clothing, so we're going to "fix" you, and then gloat in how much more your family and friends love you now that you're socially acceptable. Although there's a redeeming factor in that they do often have larger women, although not so many older women. Still, overall, it's horrible, but I still like it.

Jack Stephens said...

South Park, which actually blasts out on Family Guy in an episode. It's probably worse than Family Guy (or the same).

http://www.southparkstudios.com/guide/1003

Donna said...

The thing I like about Family Guy is the eighties references even though it's set in the 2000s. I don't watch regularly though. So my secret shame would be America's Next Top Model too. I DVR that one, since I'm pretty bad at being a regular viewer of any tv!

White Trash Academic said...

Bad reality tv like Vh1's Rock of Love....it's appalling but entrancing at the same time. If I don't fly past the channel when it's on I'm likely to get sucked in....a bunch of women doing absolutely anything to date an aging rock star from the 1980s. Why is this so engaging?

Danyell said...

I used to love Family Guy. But there used to be something else to it than just being offensive for its own sake. But ever since they brought it back, their formula for "comedy" has been "how many shocking things can we cram into an episode before we actually have to write something?" They're lazy now.

I actually don't have an secret shame with TV shows. Regardless that I turned off my cable TV 2 months ago, I openly admit to watching a slew of offensive, low quality programing.

Politicalguineapig said...

I like Family Guy too, although occasionally it's a little much. Other than that- anime. My two favorites this year both starred sociopathic pretty boys- and Death Note is so sexist it's not even funny.

Amber Rhea said...

I love Law and Order SVU. I am *definitely* aware of all the problems with it - stereotypes about sex workers, trans women, sexually active women, etc. - and the way it reinforces fear of sexual asault among women and uses violence against women as entertainment. And yet... it's one of my favorite shows. And I *do* think Olivia Benson is a great feminist role model!

Amber Rhea said...

Also, I like Family Guy as well. It has sexism and all the other stuff you mentioned but it also has its moments! It has the kind of dry humor that I like.

problemchylde said...

South Park. I think I have you and Family Guy beat. :(

Also I have watched the U.S. version of Big Brother 2/3rds of the way through almost every single season. Even the horrible first season. And the weird fall season during the writers' strike. And I'll likely watch off and on this summer, too. Addict? Yes sir!

Anonymous said...

Definitely Family Guy and South Park. Can't help it.

I think it is human to want/need a visceral release (in this case, in cartoon form, which I think is key here to understanding why we keep watching) from all the anger we have about all the VERY REAL 'isms and craptacular pressures we often find ourselves and our society in these days.

These shows constantly cross the line, and they do so deliberately, but we know that when we watch it, which I think also makes a difference in why we keep coming back to them, when we know we shouldn't. But let's be honest: they often cross the line in a clever, funny and over-the-top way that could never happen in a regular sitcom, no matter how simultaneously disgusted or outraged we might be at their antics. Hell, we are only human, and we all just have to bust loose sometimes! I wouldn't feel too guilty about this one, on the scale of one to ten, it is a pretty insignificant secret shame.

And at least Brian the dog calls Peter out on a lot of his shit, which is hilarious.

Esme said...

Family Guy, Law and Order SVU, and Britney Spears' music for the past 3 years. I feel like a bad, bad feminist, but I adore them all.

becca said...

two words: gossip girl. it's objectifying to the max, but i enjoy watching the two "traditionally beautiful" women in school uniforms as they fight and make up and fight and touch one another suggestively. there's no redeeming qualities, no hidden depth or biting social commentary layered under the veneer of teen dramedy. it's pure fluff.

Danny said...

Law and Order: SVU (OMG a child was abused, get the father!!!), House (a superbly skilled doctor that resorts to almost every -ism in the book), and one that makes me feel particularly bad: NCIS. I love that show so much that I am able to overlook the fact that a man of color did join that cast in a leading role until season 5.

T. R Xands said...

American Dad. Pretty much just like Family Guy (makes sense since they're done by the same people) except somehow more offensive...but damned if I don't like it more than Family Guy. I need help.

Anonymous said...

South Park
Family Guy
What Not To Wear

Danny said...

Forgot one. Code Monkeys

Renee said...

@Danny I'm not familiar with code monkeys. I also wanted to add that I didn't even notice the lack of black characters in NCIS. I no longer watch the show because it bores me to tears but your are right about that.

Also I give HOUSE and an official feminist pass. I love that they have female doctors. I love the fact that they are sexually free. House may be a chauvinist but his boss is a woman. He also regularly corrected on his behavior. I hate a lot of the things that he has to say but I think that it is really well balanced.

Anonymous said...

I'm right with you on Family Guy. The show is simply awful at times, but I keep turning in.

I also love Mad Men. It's not really a secret shame, but I just had to mention it.

-eternal-llama

Danny said...

@Danny I'm not familiar with code monkeys. I also wanted to add that I didn't even notice the lack of black characters in NCIS. I no longer watch the show because it bores me to tears but your are right about that.
Code Monkeys is a show on a network called G4 (which focuses on video games and computers). The show is about the daily happenings at a fictional game company (and its set in the 80s). Just to give you tip of the iceberg the only black person on the show is called Black Steve (yes Black Steve).


Also I give HOUSE and an official feminist pass. I love that they have female doctors. I love the fact that they are sexually free. House may be a chauvinist but his boss is a woman. He also regularly corrected on his behavior. I hate a lot of the things that he has to say but I think that it is really well balanced.
The show itself is fine but I was talking about House himself. While he will resort to racist and sexist taunts the biggest -ism of his is his elitism. He has a level of smug arrogance that you don't see on tv very often. And while his boss is a woman you have to admit that she can barely keep him under control. I mean come on in season 3 she perjured herself to keep him out of prison.

Rufus said...

Degrassi! Sorry but that show is so badly written, it's great! Also, South of Nowhere.

Angel H. said...

Kim, I love Project Runway! The thing I like most about that show compared to other reality TV game shows ("Survivor" and "Big Brother") is that the designers are getting by with their talents, not because of scheming and backstabbing.

But my two TV secret shames: "Family Guy" and Charm School".

Maura said...

Glad to see this. I somehow won't watch "reality" shows because they're vapid but i'll tune in specifically to watch offensive and cruel humor. I think it's Brian.